I Want it Now: Teaching 4-6 year olds about money

“But I want it now!”

Every parent no doubt hears these words from their children daily; “Mum/Dad, can I get a new… I want a … But Sarah has one …”

So what’s your response? Are you taking the opportunity to start teaching your kids the foundation of money management?

My 5-year-old daughter Sophia decided she wanted a new scooter. I said sure, but how much does it cost, and how are you going to pay for it? Of course, she wasn’t sure on the price, but she said she could use coins from her piggy bank.

So we worked out what kind of scooter she wanted, and shopped around finding out the cost. After counting up her money we discovered to our surprise she had built up $180 in coins over the last couple of years! These coins have come from odd jobs around the house (and the odd grandparent contribution). Now every family has different beliefs and values when it comes to pocket money, and while we have always given out pocket money to our kids if they help out with jobs around the house, this is not for all jobs. After all, there are two sides to pocket money and odd jobs.

1.You are part of the family, and should do some chores around the house without getting paid – after all, mum and dad don’t get paid for housework!

2.In the real world, you do jobs and you get paid.

We take a blended approach, where if jobs are consistently done then we pay up, but with coins only.

So Sophia took her $70 of coins in her glitter purse, strolled into the shop, found the pink scooter she wanted, and went to pay. She dumped the 100 odd coins on the desk to pay, and the sales person, shocked to receive so many coins, proceeded to count every coin (that took a few minutes), and said we were 5 cents short. We made them count again, and as it turns out we had exactly the right amount.

So that night she asked for an iPad…

There are 3 things to consider when teaching your children about money.

1.I truly believe that children should start learning about money as early as possible. As they move through primary school, you can teach more and more as they mature. If you keep it up all the way through high school, you can help them make solid financial decisions as they develop.

2.Children learn and observe from their parents, so it’s important to set a good example! Living in an increasingly cashless society means that your kids can lose the value of money and just see it as a plastic card.

3.Do what works for you, your family, and your financial values. It’s important to find a balance, and kids will make mistakes with their money they will learn from, just as we have all over the years.

If you need some help getting your money situation sorted, we are always here to help get you on track.


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This blog contains information that is general in nature. It does not take into account the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular person. You need to consider your financial situation and needs before making any decisions based on this information. If you decide to purchase or vary a financial product, your financial adviser, and other companies within the AMP Group may receive fees and other benefits. The fees will be a dollar amount and/ or a percentage of either the premium you pay or the value of your investment. Please contact us if you want more information.
August 7, 2018